Feature Article in

Vol. 5 No. 5
October/November 2012

640 Rosser Ave. Brandon MB, R7A 0K7 - P: 204.571.0949

Manual therapy activates healing

Ja-On Hillman
Helping the body to heal itself is the focus of manual therapy and massage is an important part of the picture.  University researchers continue to produce evidence showing the effectiveness of manual therapy for conditions such as anxiety, anorexia nervosa, back pain, depression, headaches and osteoarthritis.

While massage is known to ease muscle tension and pain, researchers at McMaster University released a study earlier this year showing the biological processes taking place in muscles during this type of manual therapy. Biochemical sensors tell muscle cells to reduce inflammation and muscles are prompted to create more mitochondria (elements within a cell that produce energy needed to help the body heal).

The McMaster scientists say they are the first to take a manual therapy like massage and test the effect using a muscle biopsy to show massage reduces inflammation, which is an underlying factor in many chronic diseases.

Registered massage therapist Ja-On Hillman’s appreciation of the benefits of manual therapy led to the decision to expand the services he offers at Reactive Massage Therapy to include osteopathy.

He recently completed the second year of a six-year program that will lead to a B.Sc. (Hons.) Osteopathy degree from the British College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM). Courses are offered through the Canadian College of Osteopathy which is affiliated with BCOM.

Osteopathy, according to BCOM is based on the principle that the good health and harmonious interrelation of skeleton, muscles, ligaments and connective tissues are crucial to an individual’s well-being.

“The body has the ability to heal itself and we offer support using a variety of manual techniques,” says Ja-On. “Osteopaths don’t cure or heal, but they can help the body. They don’t replace a medical doctor, massage therapist, physiotherapist or other healthcare professional. Osteopaths simply use their knowledge to help people.”

Reactive Massage ~ 640 Rosser Ave. Brandon

 Chinese medicine relies on acupuncture for natural healing

Dr. Li Lin
Moving from Shanghai, China’s largest city, with a population of over 23 million, to Brandon is downsizing in the extreme. Couple that with going from working at one of Shanghai’s largest hospitals (1500 beds) to opening a one-person Chinese Medicine practice in a city where most residents weren’t familiar with this form of natural healing.

However, since Dr. Li Lin began practicing here in 1998 many people have come to appreciate what Chinese Medicine offers. “In Chinese Medicine we look at the body as a network,” Li says. “Everything needs to be in balance for wellness.” All aspects of one’s lifestyle are considered to have an effect on overall health; for optimum wellness emotional, mental and physical conditions need to be in balance.

Acupuncture is one of the therapies Li relies on to promote wellness. Although it is among the oldest healing practices in the world, acupuncture was not well known in North America until the early 1970s. Since then scientists here have been trying to pinpoint the biological functions that contribute to the therapeutic effects of inserting needles at specific points on the body.

A team of researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center recently found that the organic molecule adenosine is among the mechanisms acupuncture is thought to activate. They say that “adenoisine is a natural painkiller, becoming active in the skin after an injury to inhibit nerve signals and ease pain. The chemical is also active in deeper tissues directly affected by acupuncture.”

This research adds to other studies indicating that acupuncture stimulates the central nervous system to release pain-relieving endorphins. These biochemicals also produce a sense of well-being.

Kennedy Block Revitalization

Renaissance Brandon is proud to announce a new mixed-use project has been re-developed in the Downtown HUB.  Re-developing mixed-use projects to fill empty storefronts and provide additional housing units in the downtown core is one of the primary organizing themes of the Downtown HUB Vision Plan.

The property formerly known as the Kennedy Block, which Trade Fair Exchange occupied for the last 30 years has undergone a major renovation with the support of A Renaissance Brandon’s Redevelopment Grant

Reactive Massage Therapy utilizes the philosophies of osteopathy and orthopaedic massage therapy to promote healthy lifestyles and is now open for business in their new location.

“We felt that a move to downtown Brandon would benefit both our business as well as the community”, explains Ja-On Hillman, owner of Reactive Massage.  “In one way, a city is like a human body, for if you develop a strong core, you will create a vibrant soul for life.”

From the HILLMAN 50-YEAR ODYSSEY Book Project